10/28/2015

Facebook features our group

Facebook came to  Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa and filmed for this Facebook Story feature about how our group has used Facebook to gather together eastern Iowa people interested in saving Monarch Butterflies.  Thank you, Facebook!

On September 6 2015, our facebook group for people from Eastern Iowa got together in person for an event.  At this event, attended by around 180 enthusiasts of all ages, we tagged and did a mass release of these beautiful and unique butterflies to send them on their way to Mexico. We had a special guest – a “Facebook Stories” camera crew recorded the event and produced the below video.

Monarchs in Eastern Iowa encourages people in other regions to form their own Facebook Groups, programs and projects to educate, involve more people and get more boots on the ground to benefit Monarch butterflies.  It is particularly important to PLANT MILKWEED and butterfly friendly wildflowers, in areas that are protected from chemical use or herbicide/pesticide drift. Despite what you may have heard, the decline of the Monarch population is not due to the weather, it is primarily due to the loss of Milkweed, mainly in the Midwest. This plant is the ONLY plant on which Monarchs will lay their eggs and feed their caterpillars, so it is crucial to Monarchs’ population increase to Grow Milkweed native to your region. “If you plant it…they will come!”
Save the Monarchs

Every year, the iconic Monarch butterflies migrate 3,000 miles from Canada to Mexico and back, passing through and laying eggs in Eastern Iowa. Monarchs only lay their eggs on milkweed, but herbicides have taken their toll on the plant and has sent the Monarch population into a drastic decline. See how the Monarchs in Eastern Iowa Facebook group has saved more than 4,000 Monarch butterflies by teaching hundreds of people to grow milkweed.

Posted by Facebook Stories on Wednesday, October 28, 2015

10/27/2015

Winter Sowing

WINTER SOWING is a propagation method used throughout the winter where temperate climate seeds are sown into protective vented containers and placed outdoors to foster a naturally timed, high percentage germination of climate tolerant seedlings.

This would be a great way to start milkweed plants for Monarch butterflies -  as well as nectar sources such as new england asters - purple coneflowers, etc. for next spring. 

MINIATURE GREENHOUSES
Trudi Davidoff recommends sowing seed in miniature greenhouses (made from recycled water and milk jugs) and placing them outdoors.  Please visit the below links to find out more.
http://www.wintersown.org/   
Here is a ,pdf brochure that explains Trudi's method

Another link
Winter Sowing - A step by step guide from "Get Busy Gardening"

There are also a number of videos on YouTube about winter sowing from which to learn!

SOWING DIRECTLY ON THE GROUND
Late October through November is an excellent time to sow seeds on bare ground.

Strip off any sod, weeds or grasses. Cultivate the soil to a fine tilth, firm the soil by treading on it, and rake lightly. Sow the seed mixture (with fine sand for even distribution) at a rate of 1/8 oz per sq. Some people just spread the seed on bare ground and walk on it to ensure seed/soil contact.